Finnish North American Literature Association
Donna Salli was born in 1954 in the U.P. of Michigan to parents of full Finnish
descent. She shares the “writing gene” with her sister Doreen, likely passed down
from their great-grandfather Kaarlo Korpela, who was a writer in Finland.
Donna earned a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an
MFA in Poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
A recipient of a Mentor Series Award in Poetry from the Loft Literary Center in
Minneapolis, she teaches English and directs the learning assessment program at
Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota. She lives a quiet life with her
husband, the poet Bruce Eastman, and canine companions Libby and Homer.
Donna’s poems and creative nonfiction essays have appeared in such
publications as Lake Country Journal Magazine, Loonfeather, Lake Superior
Magazine, The Finnish-American Reporter, Hellas, The Hawaii Review, Kansas
Quarterly, The Little Magazine, Primavera, Quarterly West, and the Star Tribune.
Her work has been anthologized in Dust & Fire: Women’s Stories and Art by
Women from Bemidji State University Press, 2001;
North Writers II: Our Place in the Woods from University of Minnesota Press,
Red, White, & a Paler Shade of Blue: Poems on the Finnish-American Experience
from Tamarack Press for FinnFest USA ’96, 1996.
Her first play, The Rock Farm (or Kivistön Tila), while not yet published, has been
translated into Finnish and is scheduled for production in Joensuu, Finland, in